This year, I’ve been trying to adhere to deadlines. I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done and not have to get extensions to get assignments / manuscripts done in time. And up until now, I’ve done alright.

I decided to do my last Organic Gardening course through Open Polytechnic in February to give myself a break over the holidays, but then I wasn’t counting into that Apple packing, which last year I did every alternate night. This year, I’ve done it Monday to Wednesday night, and as a result I’ve been exhausted Thursday and Friday, so I’ve only really had to the weekends to get anything done on my course.

The assignments are due in May – I’m not sure when, but they are due. I’ve completed the course, I just need to fill in the gaps on the assignment and do some practical courses. Like making compost. Testing Soil samples from different sites, and determining what the make up is of each site. These things are proving difficult to do, and my compost pile is being stubborn. I had to remake my compost so that they knew what I knew what I doing. The problem is, we’re going into winter, and the compost heap isn’t heating up like it should. Which means that it isn’t breaking down.

I can use my existing compost for some of the tests (seeing how many radishes come up compared to weeds) but I need to show them that my compost is working and breaking down things.

I also asked my editor to edit Compromising Positions at the end of June. And I don’t think I’m going to get it edited by then.

I don’t like breaking my deadlines, but I’m not sure that I’m going to get my assignments or book edited in time.

I will push on, and hope to get the assignments (three of them) finished by mid May, and I will try and get my story edited, but I might have to push that deadline out, if my editor is okay with that.

How has your week been? You have any deadlines that are pressing on you at the moment?

Take care out there.


Finding Me Time

It’s that time of the year, where I am meeting myself coming backwards at the moment. I work fulltime as a gardener, and then from late February / March I work in three evenings a week packing apples from 5 until 9pm. It is to help out a local orchard.

Then during the school term, I have pole classes on a Thursday. By the time I get to the weekend, I am busy catching up on household chores that I don’t get done during the week because I don’t have time.

And then, because I like to complicate things so much, I am also studying my final paper in my organic’s course – Composting. Which isn’t as easy as you think. We’ve had to look at how soil develops, from chemical and physical weathering of rocks. To say it is exciting is an extremely overcomplicated process. Basically it creates sand. That’s it. Not dirt, but sand.

In the mornings i squeeze in a few minutes of writing from the time my partner and son leave the house until I need to leave the house. Which sometimes is only ten minutes, but it’s better than nothing.

On Friday night, rather than sitting and staring at a screen, I decided to get out my Queen 1000 piece puzzle. And I remembered why I had put it away in the first place. It’s rather complicated, and I spent a good hour just trying to find pieces of one of the parts of the puzzle.

But you know what. I relaxed. I breathed deep and I spent some quality time doing something that I actually enjoy doing. Because you often need to find time to do the things that you enjoy doing, just to give yourself a break from other stuff going on inside your head.

What did you do this week that you did for yourself?

Take care out there


Winding down for the Year

Thank goodness I didn’t do National Novel in a Month Competition, I think I would be pulling my hair out by now.

I got my assignments done and submitted for my organics course, and with a couple of resubmits, I passed. I’ve decided to do the final course in February, it gives me some time to get back into the rhythm of work and stuff like that.

And I should have been editing Secondhand Daughter, but I haven’t. And I am putting it down to a super-secret project that I’ve been working on, and it was such a success, that I’m thinking of extending the super-secret project. I’ll only be able to tell you after Christmas what I’ve done, because they are Christmas pressies. I’m so proud of them.

I did do one chapter of edits, but things are about to go haywire at work. We’ve taken over the mowing at one of the lifestyle villages, and to say I’m rather unenthusiastic is actually an understatement. There was a reason I went to work for my current employer – they contracted out the mowing to my previous employer.

Anyway, enough of that. Now is the time of year that I start getting organised for Christmas. I used to avoid it as much as possible, but having left a relationship that made Christmas hell, and being with someone who loves Christmas and spending time with his family has really made it more enjoyable. Plus, there is less stress, not big fussy meals, no full on ‘visiting everyone in the family’. We’ve got it all sorted now, we have Christmas here, with his kids, then I head over to Wineborough with my son – and sometimes my partner, and have Boxing day with my family, as Mum, my brother and his family, and my Dad and StepMum all live in that area. It means two lots of fun family time (the second one is more funny haha though, watching Mum ignore Dad while Dad is trying to get Mum to talk to him.)

Anyway, I hope your week has been more productive.

Take care, Kia Kaha


Done and Dusted…I Think

I busted a gut and got my assignments finished and handed in with a day to spare. My first one was returned, as I hadn’t completed the tasks as they asked. Which was kind of confusing, because they asked you to name two pests that would eat your plants, and that was it. The rest of the questions were about what type of climate, soil type, and drainage I have that can affect pest management etc… which I assumed to mean that they wanted answers for those two pests. No, apparently not. I had to provide answers for a range of pests (we’re talking insects here).

The last assignment was on companion planting, which I think I nailed. They haven’t responded yet to let me know if I passed or not.

So, then I thought I could do some editing, but instead I’ve ended up working on a special project. This year, I personalised a diary for my writing. It has everything in it from what I put on my Catherine Mede page, to word counts and what I’ve edited (chapters etc). It was rather challenging to try and make it up, as I have it in a weekly format and then I had to work out which pages go where for when I made my signatures. You see, I like to make books too. The exciting part is, it actually worked! I’m in the process of building my own writing planner. I have the signatures sewn together, and I’ve glued in some bookmarks, and I’m so damned proud of myself! I just need to make the covers and then it is finished. What a mission.

Anyway, hopefully I get my results this week and I can then put that part of the course behind me. I have another topic to go, but I might just start that in January, so I don’t have any more stress between now and May when the class would finish. The January intake finishes in June.

I hope you’ve had a better week

Kia kaha


When it Rains it drizzles…

So, I thought I had over three weeks to get my assignments for my Organics course done. But no. I don’t.

You see, when you log on, it tells you that the assignments are due on 26th November. Which is fine, I try and aim to have them in about a week before hand.

But I logged in on last Sunday, and they’d changed the date to the 9th of November, which was ten days away. I swore and cursed a little, and then had to knuckle down and get through the study notes to get one assignment finished. The second one is due on the 9th too, but it is only one chapter of the course material, so I can get that bowled out before Thursday.

But it’s annoying, and it’s the second time they’ve done it. I am considering laying a complaint, because it’s not fair to move the goal posts when I work full time and only have evenings to do my study. If I was unemployed, it would be my own silly mistake to be so far behind.

It also means that I haven’t done any editing this week, which is frustrating, because I want to get some done. I did however manage to get some done yesterday when I caught up with the fabulous LaVerne Clark and had a coffee together. We’ve started meeting up to encourage each other with our writing. She’s such an amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next year. We’ve been discussing goals for next year, so watch this space.

I hope you had a better week than me.

Kia kaha